NBC Stacks Dramas in the Fall, Comedies for Midseason


NBC’s 2021-22 year-round programming strategy places dominant dramas in the fall, doubles down on comedies in midseason and pairs unscripted shows with tentpole events.

On Mondays, The Voice leads the night, paired with the new what-if drama Ordinary Joe at 10 p.m. Ordinary Joe is billed as a “heartfelt, life-affirming drama” that follows Joe Kimbreau, who faces a challenging decision at his college graduation.

The Voice leads off Tuesdays, which also features the new genre drama La Brea and time-slot winner New Amsterdam at 10 p.m. La Brea is an epic adventure that begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths.

The Chicago lineup continues in its Wednesday slot, with Chicago Med at 8 p.m., followed by Chicago Fire and concluding with Chicago P.D.

Dick Wolf series shine in the Thursday lineup, with the new franchise addition Law & Order: For the Defense leading the night at 8 p.m., followed by the record-extending 23rd season of Law & Order: SVU and capped off by the sophomore season of Law & Order: Organized Crime.

The Blacklist returns for its ninth season on Friday night, in the 8 p.m. slot.

After kicking off with a special post-Olympics send-off for Brooklyn Nine-Nine this summer, comedy returns to the schedule in midseason. New series American Auto and Grand Crew will join sophomore series Kenan, Mr. Mayor and Young Rock. From Superstore creator Justin Spitzer, American Auto is a workplace comedy starring Ana Gasteyer and Jon Barinholtz. Grand Crew hails from Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor and stars Echo Kellum (Arrow) and Nicole Byer (Nailed It!) in a comedy about the ups and downs of life and love at a wine bar.

Midseason continues with the new true-crime limited series The Thing About Pam, starring Renee Zellweger and inspired by episodes of Dateline NBC. Dan Fogelman’s award-winning series This Is Us will return to its traditional Tuesday night 9 p.m. time slot for its final season.

Unscripted series are featured throughout midseason and summer. These include AGT: Extreme, a stunt-filled spin-off of the hit franchise America’s Got Talent, and for the first time, an adaptation of the Eurovision Song Contest, with American Song Contest.

The new game show The Wheel is based on a hit U.K. format and features contestants aiming to win big with the help of celebrity guests playing on a giant, spinning wheel. Jimmy Fallon is the executive producer and host of That’s My Jam. Dick Wolf is behind the docuseries LA Fire and Rescue, following the real-life heroes of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The Emmy Award-winning celebrity genealogy docuseries Who Do You Think You Are? returns to NBC from executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky. Home Sweet Home from Ava DuVernay will see two families embark on a life-changing experience, switching homes to see what life is really like behind closed doors.

“Our program strategy for NBC is singularly focused on driving growth by capturing audiences with can’t-miss event television and keeping them on the network with immersive scripted series,” said Frances Berwick, chairman of entertainment networks for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We are leaning into pieces of the legacy that work, but not being precious about experimenting with things that can benefit from a change.”

“NBC is the flagship network in our portfolio and we wanted to treat it as such, shining a light on some of our most beloved shows and introducing a broad range of dynamic new programming,” said Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “Honoring our fans is a major focus this year and we’re delivering on favorites with more Law & Order and AGT as well as big send-offs for award-winning shows This Is Us and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. We have all of our amazing returning shows, and we’re launching what I believe will be fan favorites of the future—strong dramas like La Brea, Ordinary Joe and The Thing About Pam, laugh-out-loud comedies American Auto and Grand Crew, and big new unscripted shows such as American Song Contest.”